Wealthy Chinese apply to move to the UK at the highest rate since 2014 as the trade war puts them off the US

9th September 2019 / South China Morning Post

The trade war is driving rich Chinese people to drop their plans to emigrate to the US and seek alternative destinations in Europe, particularly the UK, the latest data suggests. Applications for so-called tier-1 investor visas to the UK by ultra-wealthy Chinese jumped by more than half to 83 – including 10 from Hong Kong – in the first quarter of 2019 from 54 in the preceding three months, according to Growthdeck.

That is the highest number since the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the London-based investment services firm. Under UK rules, a foreign investor can obtain the “golden visas” for themselves and their dependents by investing £2 million in British companies. The visa gives them the right to stay in the UK for three years and four months, with the option of extending for another two years and of applying as for citizenship afterwards.

Esther Yong, director of Sodichan.com, a cross-border property dealing platform, said she has seen the same trend. “The queue in the US is getting longer, and emigration rules are getting tougher for other traditional popular destinations including Canada and Australia. So people are starting to look for other options,” she said.

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